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Barbara Paul Robinson

"As a Trusts and Estates partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for many years, I have advised many individual clients about their philanthropic commitments and have also served as counsel to many of my firm's foundation clients. Whenever a client asked me about establishing a private foundation, I always urged them to consider using The New York Community Trust instead.

Creating a donor-advised fund is easy, efficient, and inexpensive. It offers an instant opportunity to create a charitable fund but without all the red tape and delay entailed by founding a separate entity and seeking to qualify as tax exempt with the Internal Revenue Service. The New York Community Trust provides all the administrative support needed, connecting each donor to the deep resources and expertise of its outstanding staff. I wisely followed my own advice when my husband, Charles Raskob Robinson, and I set up a donor-advised fund of our own.

Each December, I decide how much I wish to commit to charitable purposes and make a single gift of appreciated securities to the donor-advised fund we established at the NYCT. I also qualify for matching funds from other sources, which can also go directly in this donor-advised fund in a single payment. After I make my annual gift, I can, with the luxury of time, recommend grants from my donor-advised fund to various charitable organizations I would like to support. I know I can rely on the due diligence of the NYCT staff to insure each recommended organization continues to be well run and qualified. Recently, a grant I recommended to a small organization was rejected by the staff because of important concerns raised about that potential grantee's governance structure. I was very impressed.

In the future, when my husband and I are gone, we know that our fund will continue to be available for recommendations made by our children and grandchildren. It will be a wonderful legacy."

Photo courtesy of Smokey Mountain National Park.
To thank Ms. Robinson for pro bono work she had done, the Appalachian College Association set up a scholarship in her name. It goes to an outstanding student who intends to pursue a legal career and then work in the region. Grants from the Barbara Paul Robinson and Charles Raskob Robinson Fund contribute to the program.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.